“The crisis of human suffering is in plain sight, and there’s no time to waste,” said President-elect Joe Biden.“We have to act, and we have to act now.” As inauguration plans continue to come together, Biden has gone ahead and announced his new additional $1.9 trillion relief plan that will begin as he takes office on Wednesday, January 20.
Here is what Biden is proposing:
- Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans, in addition to the $600 payments that begin being administered in Deci still ember- bringing the total relief to $2,000.
- Increasing the federal, per-week unemployment benefit from $300 to $400 and extending it through the end of September.
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
- Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September.
- $350 billion in state and local government aid.
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and universities.
- $50 billion toward Covid-19 testing.
- $20 billion toward a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes.
- Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6)
The numbers prove a need for additional aid
With more than 388,700 Americans have died from the virus as of Friday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University, the urgency for financial aid to push the distribution of the newly developed vaccines continues to peak.
As of Friday morning, January 15th, almost 11.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to Americans so far, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1.3 million people have received two doses, according to the CDC.
Biden makes promises
It is scheduled for Biden to go into more depth about his plan to administer Covid-19 vaccines to the U.S. population on Friday at an event in Wilmington, Delaware.
Biden has said his first priority when he takes office next week is to vaccinate Americans against the virus as the pandemic continues to devastate the nation. The President-elect has pledged to administer 100 million Covid-19 vaccine shots, enough to cover 50 million Americans with the vaccines that require two doses, in his first 100 days in office.
Experts back-up need for additional stimulus aid
Biden acknowledged the ambition and the cost of his plan but defended the high price of the proposed relief bill. The President-elect remains fervent in the belief that this stimulus relief plan is the best way to take care of this country and the people in it.
“I know what I just described does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly,” said Biden. “The consensus among leading economists is, we simply cannot afford not to do what I’m proposing.”
Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, said, “I think we’re going to see the existing stimulus program mitigate that, but it’s not going to give us the bounce we need to carry through until the vaccine has really brought the virus under control.
“The question is: How fast are we going to bounce back? If you assume we’re going to bounce back without more stimulus, that’s basically the case for no more stimulus,” he added. “Personally, I’m not convinced that’s the case. And even if it is the case, it will certainly be much faster and more humane if we get more stimulus.”